HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Matt Daniel's first dalliance with Marshall came long before the school opened its search for a new women's basketball coach last month.
Daniel, 35, was introduced as the Thundering Herd's new women's hoops coach Tuesday afternoon, but in 1994 the Mr. Basketball of Arkansas received the full-court press from then-Marshall men's Coach Billy Donovan.
Daniel passed as a player then, but jumped at the opportunity to sign a four-year contract worth $160,000 annually to revive the Marshall women's program.
"I've actually been on campus before," Daniel said Tuesday in the Henderson Center's Hartley Room. "I was Coach Billy Donovan's first scholarship offer at Marshall. I took an official visit here.
"I chose Colorado and if you ask Coach Donovan he would probably say I got bad information. I don't know that I would disagree."
Daniel played two years with the Buffaloes before transferring to Harding (Ark.) University.
With Daniel out, Donovan settled on former DuPont High School star Jason Williams.
"Worked out well for both of them," Daniel said with a smile.
Daniel comes to Marshall from Central Arkansas, where he compiled a 72-50 record over the past four seasons. That includes a 6-23 mark in 2008-09.
The Sugar Bears went 21-8, 21-12 and 24-7 the last three seasons, and Daniel won Southland Coach of the Year honors in 2010 and '12.
"I feel like he's going to come in and change some things and put us where we need to be," Marshall rising senior Alyse Poindexter said.
Marshall is coming off a 16-14 season. Royce Chadwick resigned as head coach April 10 to accept the same position at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Herd Athletic Director Mike Hamrick interviewed three candidates: Daniel, Drury University Coach Steve Harold and Oregon assistant Keila Whittington.
"It's a new day, a new era," Hamrick said before introducing Daniel. "It's time to take Marshall University women's basketball to a new and different direction.
"We need to take this program to a little bit higher level. I think the search that we undertook made that possible and I think we found the right person."
Daniel, who is a native of Jonesboro, Ark., shared his 25-page guide to basketball philosophy. It is titled "Home of Higher Hoops," and it features rules, daily objectives and a glimpse of the Herd's future style of play.